Jackman School, Atwood Street, courtesy of the Museum of Old Newbury, The Snow Collection
The Jackman School, between Atwood and School Streets – it was the location of 2 schools, possible 3, the first one was built in 1765.
School Street was created in 1753 and the first school house was built in 1765.* A school house appears on the 1851 map, I do not know if it was the one built in 1765 or a later version. The 1872 map and 1884 map also show a school building. By that time it had been named the Jackman School, after George W. Jackman who became mayor of Newburyport in1861, when he filled the vacancy created when the serving mayor died in office. He served six years as mayor, and held that office throughout most of the Civil War. At other times he was an alderman, councilman, postmaster, and customs collector, and he was elected to the state legislature as well. He was also a famous shipbuilder, and purchased the Jackman Shipyard in 1849 (please see the Jackman Shipyard on the Interactive Map as well as 51 Woodland Street where he lived). George Jackman’s obituary stated that, “He was one of the foremost shipbuilders of the city and was one of the sturdy men whose brain and handiwork made Newburyport famous in every part of the world.”
Newburyport Daily News, June 30, 1900
Around 1899 the existing school house was described as, “Wretched, worse than any prison or almshouse in the state, the impure air was shortening the lives of the pupils who were forced to go there.”**
1851 Map showing an earlier school building where the new Jackman School was built in 1900.
1872 Map, courtesy of the Newburyport Public Library Archival Center showing an earlier school building where the new Jackman School was built in 1900.
1884 Map, courtesy of the Newburyport Public Library Archival Center showing an earlier school building where the new Jackman School was built in 1900.
The new school building that replaced the old one was completed in 1901. When it was announce in the paper in 1900, it was described as, “An eight room school building that will be the best public building in the city, as well as the most modern one.”*** It was the building that many people remember as the Jackman School.
Portrait of George Jackman, courtesy of the Custom House Maritime Museum, #CHMM 2013.1061.1
By 1972 the building was described as, “Long outmoded and abandoned when the Rupert A. Nock Middle School was opened on low street.”^* Like the Kelly School and the Brown School there was a great deal of discussion about what could be done with the building. Eventually it was demolished in 1975 and is now the site of Atwood Park.
1906 Sanborn Fire Map from the Library of Congress, showing the new Jackman School.
Postcard of the Jackman School, courtesy of Historic Ipswich
The Jackman School, the Newburyport Interactive History Map
You may also enjoy reading about The Brown School 1924-2015.
There is also information on the history of the Currier School on Forrester Street.
~ History compiled by Mary Baker Eaton
* History of Newburyport, Mass 1764-1905, by John J. Currier p. 364
** The Newburyport Daily News, May 9, 1899
*** The Newburyport Daily News, June 30, 1900, on the announcement of the building of the new Jackman School
^* The Newburyport Daily News, July 15, 1975 and the Newburyport Assessor’s Office (the Nock Middle School opened in 1972).